Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Location: United States

Saturday, May 27, 2006

"Jack, this is a direct order from the President. Now enter the correct code and let them release the gas. Now!" - Samwise, 24

A nicely painted thingy. I think it's called a geode.

As you may (or may not) have heard, we’re working on a contract to build a natural gas pipeline from Alaska down to another pipeline in Canada. From there, the natural gas will make its way down to Chicago, where I’m willing to bet it will be used to make sausage. It would also lower the cost that you pay for natural gas.

The problem has been getting the contract with ConocoPhillipsExxonMobilAmocoBP. The Governor has spent more hours than I spent studying in college (which is, admittedly, a figure you could get to on a Saturday) getting a contract together. The contract isn’t perfect, but it will likely get the pipeline built.

Part of what’s killing me is the attitude of the people (as expressed in a letter to our local newspaper, The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner that “. . . Alaskans deserve(emphasis mine) a 50% tax” on the gas. This was, of course, for the children.

  • If you don’t have a logical argument, trot out the kids. They exude some sort of anti-logic smell.
  • If you have to whine about how you deserve something, well, you don’t. Deserve in this case is just another word for gimmee.
I could so see kicking this guy out of my house at a party, even if he brought beer. That’s how mad he made me. But, he also made me think, which is probably better than beer. We’re talking about a business that is getting ready to:
  • spend billions of dollars in a state,
  • provide thousands of direct, exceptionally high-paying jobs
  • provide tens of thousands of indirect jobs, and
  • lower the heating costs for 50% of the population.
The gas line (in it’s current form) will also bring in enough money for the next thirty or so years to ensure that we don’t have to pay pesky income taxes or a state sales tax.

If you live in the lower 48, your governor, your city, would provide tax credits, free land, and agree to polish the cuticles of the CEO who wanted to do this. Don’t deny it, I’ve seen it where states get in hissy catfights, complete with vicious accusations that one of them is a “tramp” to be the place where two hundred $15.00 an hour jobs would be created.

Where we’re at now is the greed of those who deserve might make all that go away. For the children.

I suppose if we mess this deal up, we really would be getting what we deserve.


Blogger brotherbill said...

I am leary of all things dubbed "natural". I used to think that natural was a good thing, until a cheap terrestial radio quack wised me up. Included in natural categories are rattlesnake venom, nightshade and teenagers. All can be lethal in high doses, and cause completely "natural" deaths (or insanity). Just a thought from Troutdale, Oregon.'

Of course, this falls into one of my two "nothing is enough" categories. Besides, NOBODY ever thanks ME for my contributions to the natural gas supply.

6:50 PM  
Blogger CabinDweller said...

50 percent sounds a wee bit extreme, even for the 'tax them' folks. I say we figure we just shouldn't bend over backwards. It's just unseemly and it's not exactly a way to play cards.

Whoops, mixing fractured metaphors again.

I probably, hmmm, let's check, yep, I fall into the category of skeptics about Frank the Bank's deal. (Lest we forget, his most famous biz deal was running Bank of the North into the ground and pushing a bunch of craptastic deals on the Sitnsuak Native Corporation.)

And, what do you make of his willingness to:

1) Tie the gas line deal to the whole oil tax thingey.

2) Acquiesce to the will of Big Erl and lock the tax rate FOREVER.

3) I also wonder about the tax on net profits idea. As it happens in Hollywood at least, all it takes is a bonafied Doberman Accountant and suddenly we end up owing B.E. money. (Okay, not really, but the whole point is one can account away all the profit.)

11:38 PM  
Blogger Jacie Wiggs said...

John you are the salt of the earth as my birth mum's mum used to say. So confusing this adoption stuff! All that to say a hearty thanks for linking me. I think you are my first, since I am a newbie, not to be confused with a dubie, ofcourse!

Ottawa is the first place I have ever lived where we have natural gas and it is a wee bit cheaper than oil; however, we have seen a huge hike this past year in the price of natural gas. I've heard that the world's natural gas supply is also dwindling and driving up the cost ( do we believe that? or them?)Anywho! I just paint pipelines and know little about the politics of what goes through them - except this, there is always a big, big winner and a big big looser.

7:51 AM  
Blogger Woofwoof said...

This post gives me a headache. I'd like to get back to talking about the Boy, the New Boy, the Mrs, the dogs, Floo-Bees and garbage under the snow.

8:57 AM  
Blogger Al said...

I had to come back for a second time so I would not fly off the handle. I have been reading the on-line versions of Alaska'a papers and get a tad bit upset when I read that some in the Great State want $$ for the use of the resources.

What would happen if Chicago wanted a 50% payment for sausage and pizza that ended up in Alaska? Or, closer to home for me, if West Virginia and Virginia asked for a 50% tax on coal?

I like Alaska and all the friends I have yet to meet, but Alaskans must share. Alaska get more federal money per person than anyone and now people want to "stick it to the man".

Alaska's resources are United States resources...just like our coal is United States coal.

How about sharing...for the children, because there are lots of kids down here in the OUTSIDE.

2:47 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

"But think of the children!"

As always, I'm with the late, great Bill Hicks on that score: "What's with this child-worship syndrome? What, like they get to a certain age and they're off your f***ing love list? You either love all people of all ages, or you shut the f*** up."

Bill always had a neat turn of phrase.

8:10 PM  
Blogger CabinDweller said...

Actually, Al, I'm not sure where you're getting the 50 percent tax thing from.

Based on the #, I suspect you are referring to the 50 percent royalty split with the federal gov. When Alaska became a state, it was originally promised a 90-10 royalty split - but we ended up with a 50-50 split on our oil complex up north.

You, in Chicago, will not be paying that.

Typically, extractive/natural resource industries pay royalties. All except the huge, multinational mining corporations pay royalties. (And don't get me started on that one. Why gold is somehow exempt is beyond me.)

As well they should when they are taking non-renewable resources from public lands (lands that belong to Americans in common.)

5:13 PM  
Blogger CabinDweller said...

Whoops, must be the sunshine addling my brain.

Al, when John mentioned 50 percent tax, I belive, he was talking about our proposed revisions to the tax structure governing Big Oil's business up here. And he was exaggerating to make a point, I believe. :)

When I went off about royalties, in the later post and the 50-50 split, that was a whole different thing.

Apologies, I shouldn't post after sitting in the sun all day.

5:22 PM  
Blogger John said...

There are plenty of natural things that aren't good for you. Fangs of a grizzly bear come to mind.

I thank you for your natural gas contributions. But, nothing is ever enough.

That was a letter from a local (Fairbanksan) yahoo in our paper.

1. From the producer standpoint, it's like being charged $0.50 for the steak and $56.00 for the salad. They're producing both, so they'd like to know what they'll be paying. They don't have infinite resources.

2. There's some number (I'm not claiming to know) of years that makes the project economic for them. That makes a bit of sense.

3. Profits are selling price (in Alaska) minus costs (in Alaska). Hollywood might screw over an actor, but they don't mess with the IRS. Bad Mojo. Not worried 'bout that part. People do time for that.

My pleasure at being first!

As far as being a big winner and a big loser, I think that there is a way that both sides can be winners. the Alaska Pipeline and the current oil situation for Alaska are a great example.

My apologies. I was just attempting to illustrate how upside-down politics gets up here. It's as goofy as, well, Jerry Lewis and a jar of Jell-O.

Yup. And the kids in Alaska could use the jobs that this will throw off like sweat from Paris Hilton. Ewww. Did I just say that?

Oh, I'm so going to use that quote! Makes me giddy to hear that!

That was proposed by a citizen in the paper. Nobody's planning a rate that high. Except him. Because he's greedy.

Gold is exempt because of the mining law of 18somethingorother. Mineral extraction is covered by the Feds.

Well, royalties are cool. They are 12.5% off the top. That's standard. How much, though, is enough? Like I said previously, we don't win when Big Erl walks away feeling screwed. We win when we both walk away smiling, and kids down in the lower '48 end up warm with our gas.

There is a win-win. Are we there? Dunno. Are we close? Yeah. Very.

8:52 PM  
Blogger Duck Hunter said...

I feel like I DESERVE the gas that resides in Alaska for free. Anything you have I should have.

Tell that to the opinion page!

7:07 AM  

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